Bible Commentaries
Psalms 56

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-13

Psalms 56

A Deliverance Psalm

This Psalm was written upon David’s return from exile in Gath, where he had been among the Philistines, 1 Samuel 21:13-14.

Scripture v. 1-13:

Verses 1, 2 are a Davidic cry for the Lord to be merciful or gracious toward him, for man would swallow him up, gobble him down, like a vicious beast, thirsting for his blood, as they fought daily against him, v. 2; Psalms 57:3. He added that those oppressing enemies who stalked him as their prey, oppressing him daily, were many, who would eat him up; He concluded "O thou most High," overseeing and observing all, Psalms 57:1.

Verses 3, 4 confide that every day, when he was made afraid he would trust in the most High God, or place his confidence in Him; He added that he would praise His word, or praise Him for His word of promised care, Psalms 33:4; Psalms 119:25. Because he had put his trust in God he asserted that he would not fear what flesh, the arm of man, could do to him, as the Lord by covenant promise shielded or protected him, Psalms 118:6.

Verses 5, 6 charge that day by day Saul and his enemy helper against David wrested or distorted his words, charged him falsely with treason, that he was plotting to dethrone Saul from his kingship in Israel. He asserted that they gathered themselves, as a pack of wolves, waited in hiding, watching his movements, hoping and planning in colleague, to pounce upon him, to take his life, Job 14:16; Psalms 37:32; Psalms 57:6; Psalms 89:51: Luke 10:20.

Verse 7 inquires "shall they escape by iniquity by their plotting against David?" Would this enable them to escape Saul’s loss of his throne, to which God had sentenced him, 1 Samuel 15:23. David prayed, with imprecatory emotions, "In thine anger, cast down the people, O God," those who stalk my life, seek to besmirch my reputation, John 8:47; John 10:26; John 12:48; John 15:22.

Verse 8 declares "thou tellest (dost take note of) my wander­ings," dodging from place to place, from his enemies, away from his family and home country. He asks God to bottle up, preserve his tears, in the preservatory of his book, or library of remembrance, as described, Malachi 3:16. He longed for joy hereafter, tho he momentarily had tears, Psalms 126:5-6; Isaiah 61:7. See also Matthew 10:20; Revelation 20:12.

Verse 9 adds that David’s enemies cried to the Lord, he knew that the covenant God would turn his enemies back, for His name’s sake, before both His and David’s enemies. He rejoiced, "God is with me," assuring protection, deliverance, and ultimate victory, Romans 8:3; Romans 8:31; 1 Corinthians 15:56-58; Psalms 73:25; Psalms 124:1-2.

Verses 10, 11 vow that David will put, place, set, or fix his trust and praise in and upon the Jehovah and Elohim God. And with his trust and praise thus fixed, he vowed that he would not be fearful of what man (flesh, weak man) could do to him. For true faith in and love for God does liberate one from the fear of man, Romans 8:15; 1 John 4:18.

Verses 12, 13 conclude that David’s vows, which he resolved to keep, were continually upon God, to whom he would render repeated praises, because He had delivered his soul-life from death. He then rhetorically added, "you will deliver my feet from falling that I may walk before God in the light (clear vision) of the living, will you not?" This implies an affirmative "you surely will!" Job 33:30; John 8:12; Ephesians 5:8; Psalms 27:13; Psalms 116:8; John 12:35.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Psalms 56". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. 1985.